Author: Patrick W. Carr.
Published: February 1st 2013.
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Sort: Part 1 of ‘The staff and the sword.’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travellers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom. Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.
This story follows Errol Stone, an alcoholic who is willing to do anything for some money. When he volunteers to deliver a message to the priest Martin and Luis, he is up to the adventure of a life time. He is hunted by deadly assassins and Errol is forced to flee together with them. When Luis finds out that Errol has the gift of sight, he binds the boy to the Church. Readers are special, because they can casts lots. These wooden objects can help the reader to make a decision in great matters. Errol almost dies when he is separated from the group. A family takes care of him and he finds out that he is good in fighting with the staff. When it’s time to leave, Errol decides to join a caravan to work as guard. This will takes him to Erinon, head of the city, where he must fulfill his task.
Erinon is the place where the Church is established. Readers are being killed by an unknown enemy and the King is dying. It is time to cast in order to name the new King, but there is someone out there who is trying to sabotage the outcome. It is up to Errol and some other characters to put the rightful king on the thrown before the barrier falls; their only protection against their dangerous enemies.
First of all, I really liked Errol. He is a mess in the beginning of the story, but his development is incredible. We get to learn the reason behind his drinking problem and the way he slowly deals with it. He is a very likable character and I respected him. There are a lot of other side characters, like Martin and Luis, and I had the idea they all played a role in this story. The world-building is good. The information is revealed piece by piece and that made me anxious to keep reading. Errol doesn’t know a thing about readers, picking a new King and politics, so it was fun to learn everything through his eyes. The twist at the ending surprised me and I liked the slight wrap-up. I’m intrigued to read part two, The hero’s lot.
If you are looking for some good old fantasy, this is the book you want to pick up!